Taichung public schools are using 1,599 security cameras made by China’s Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology Co almost five months after government restrictions were imposed on the use of its products, Taichung City Councilor Huang Shou-ta (黃守達) of the Democratic Progressive Party said yesterday.
In April, the Executive Yuan ordered government facilities and institutions to stop using imported technology products that could compromise cybersecurity, including cameras made by Hikvision, a company with close links to the Chinese government, Huang said.
After city residents expressed concern over data safety, he asked Taichung City Government agencies to provide lists of Chinese-made security cameras still in use, he said.
The Taichung police said that no Chinese cameras are used at major road intersections, while the city’s transportation and construction bureaus said they have replaced all Chinese cameras with locally made ones, he said.
However, the Taichung Education Bureau said that an estimated 1,599 Hikivision cameras were still in use at 34 public schools, Huang said, adding: “While it is not easy to remove so many cameras, we cannot keep using products that could harm cybersecurity.”
“The Education Bureau must set a schedule to replace cameras and other technology products that the Executive Yuan and the National Security Council have rejected as unacceptable,” Huang said. “Not a single product made by the companies on the blacklist should remain in use.”
Foreign officials are increasingly wary of using Chinese technology products for official purposes, he said, adding that Taiwan has more reasons than most to be vigilant about the Chinese cybersecurity threat.
“Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) should begin work on this issue to protect Taichung residents as soon as possible,” he said.
The education bureau said that it is waiting for the Executive Yuan to promulgate the list of banned products, which is pending, and that officials estimated replacement costs for the cameras to be NT$13 million (US$416,000).
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